The work continues...

We’ve continued work as usual this past month. We are still plugging away on some backend things and whatnot as well…read on for more details.

Continuum RT

Most of our public work on RT this month revolved around bug fixing and polish. We launched Build 10 first, with some minor optimizations and improvements to the denoiser. Nothing crazy but some decent polish work.

2 weeks later came Build 11, which brought our first implementation of our new, extremely high quality POM and RT POM shadows/lighting. This is the highest quality POM we have ever created…and it is also, at least for now, very demanding. Build 11 also reintroduced Specular, which had been disabled in a few previous builds, at a higher quality as well, and added AMD compatibility! This was enabled by our team acquiring our first AMD GPU to test on, a 5700XT…suffice to say, AMD compatibility will be a focus going forward for all our shaders, if possible (and with RT, it is!).

Finally, Build 12 was launched, fixing many small issues that we missed in Build 11, including a few light sources not emitting light, adding lapis as an emitter (for now at least), improving performance slightly over Build 11, and fixing a few smaller issues here and there.

While we did launch 3 new builds this month, the changes were mostly minor…this is mostly because we are working on something fairly big for RT in the background. We aren’t ready to share too too much about it just yet, but hopefully we can within the next month. If it works out the way we want it too, it could be a game changer…so stay tuned.

Some screenshots of this months updates (click on images to enlarge)

Continuum 2.1

2.1 updates have slowed a bit this month, partly due to Robo being out of town for a bit, and partly due to him lending a hand with the work we are doing for RT behind the scenes. This has negatively impacted 2.1’s updates this month, no doubt, but what we are working on has the potential to help 2.1 out a great deal in the future as well, so hopefully it will be worthwhile 🙂

That said, 2.1 did still receive a few updates this month, some fairly interesting ones at that. To start, the issues with shadow resolutions above 4K resolution (all the way to 16K), have been resolved! So if you like to up the shadow resolution for crispier shadows in 2.1, you can now do so without weird artifacts!

Another thing we added/changed this month is the rendering of the water at a distance. Before it would render similar levels of up close and far away, this meant that as water got farther away the high frequency detail would start to break up, and aliasing/flickering would become apparent. Especially at lower resolutions. We have made a tweak that slowly smooths the water out as it gets farther and farther from the player, thus improving the look of the water in the distance, greatly reducing aliasing/flickering. The difference is most obvious in motion, but the decrease in visual ‘noise’ on the water’s surface in the distance is also apparent in screenshots.

We made a few other small fixes and tweaks this month as well, but they were mostly minor things like fixing reflections on hands, etc..

Here are some screenshots of some of these updates (click on images to enlarge)


Stratum updates continued as usual as well, but pushing them to the site has been slightly delayed while we build out a new and more robust downscaler system. This system can as of right now downscale updates pushed to the master branch down to 1K, 512x, and so on, but in the future we want to completely automate both the master branch (you know it as MC 1.13+) and the 1.12.2 branch. This would mean that when our devs push a new texture or a change to the 2K 1.13+ version of the pack, it is automatically downscaled to all resolutions of the 1.13 version, like normal, and then the names are changed accordingly to make it 1.12.2 compatible and those changes are simultaneously pushed to the 1.12.2 branch as well, keeping them updated at the same time, versus being out of sync like they commonly are now. That’s the plan anyway.

Since the downscaler was only just got to the stage were it can work for the main branch, we have sadly not been able to update Stratum for MC 1.13+ on the site this month. We did however push a new update to the 1.12.2 and lower versions early in the month, with all the textures up till that point as well as an important fix for the leaf models in that version. If you want to have the latest version for 1.12.2 or lower, please make sure to select build 4 when downloading. We hope to bring 1.13+ up to parity soon though.

Anyway, onto what was done this month:


  • Jungle Leaves V1
  • Oak Leaves Biome coloring
  • Lapis Block V1

Tweaked / Fixed

  • Removed Unused colormap files
  • Iron Ore F0 fix
  • Lowered Hay Block AO strength
  • Updated Redstone Block F0 and added emissive
  • Adjusted Oak Leaf texture color
  • Updated all Planks shape, added AO
  • Tweaked Netherrack roughness and height, added AO
  • Fixed clipping on Andesite height
  • Various minor fixes to multiple blocks, including Snowy Grass Block, Dirt, Grass, and Netherrack

Here are some screenshots of the additions (click on images to enlarge)

Site Updates

Before I wrap this up, I thought I’d mention a few site updates…

Account migration was a big one. This went out Early last month and while it has had some minor issues, it has been working fairly well. If you have had any issues migrating your GitLab account to the new site, please reach out to our email or discord support and we will assist you.

The FAQ page was revamped, with new answers pertaining to the new post GitLab site experience, new tutorial video links, and overall more information. This will continue to be expanded upon in the future.

We also added a Projects dropdown to the header, this should allow you to quickly jump to the main project pages from any page on the site. A small change, but hopefully helpful for some.

Wrapping up...

We once again want to thank you all for your continued support. We hope you all stay safe and healthy. See you guys next month 🙂